Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, age 36, have finally publicly confirmed their engagement, with a royal wedding in the diary for spring 2018.
After months of speculation that Harry, age 33, had presented the Suits actress with and engagement ring, Kensington Palace took to Twitter to put fans of the couple out of their ongoing suspense.
They stated: “The Prince of Wales has announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle.
“Prince Harry and Ms Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. The wedding will take place in spring 2018. Further details will be announced in due course.”
And the happy news is announced, here’s all the milestones about their relationship to date:
July 2016: Prince Harry meets Meghan in London
The couple met for the first time in London in July 2016, the Horrible Bosses actress confirmed. The were introduced to one another through mutual friends.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk hand-in-hand as they make their first public appearance together [PA]
It was originally rumoured the bride-to-be met the prince at the first Invictus Games in Canada in 2016 as the actress lived there at the time, but she later set the record straight.
October 2016: Romance rumours
The rumours were first fuelled when each Harry and Meghan were spotted wearing identical bracelets, and the Prince followed the actress from his private Instagram account.
[Meghan Markle Instagram]
November 2016: Harry confirms relationship with royal statement
In early November 2016, a statement released by Kensington Palace confirmed Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland’s daughter was in fact in a relationship with the royal heir.
The statement was released in order to protect the 33 year old, as it stated: “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. “
It also read: “Some of this has been very public, the smear on the front page of a national newspaper, the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.
“Prince Harry is worried and Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
“It is not right that a few short months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”
On dealing with the added attention, Meghan told Vanity Fair: “Right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support.”
January 2017: Meghan meets William and Kate
And it looks the Harry’s nearest and dearest adore Meghan as much as he does. Earlier this year, Meghan stayed in Kensington Palace and met Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
According to the Sunday Express: “William and Kate really liked her and she fitted in straight away.” She was also spotted shopping around Kensington High Street and was reported to be wearing the 32 year old’s trademark brown baseball camp during the outing.
April 2017: Meghan preparing for royal life
Showing just how serious their relationship was, Meghan began dropping clues she was preparing for royal life in the spring on 2017.
She stepped down from her role as ambassador for Canadian clothing brand Reitmans and closed her blog, The Tig. The lifestyle website was written by Meghan and included travel, fashion and beauty content.
May 2017: Meghan attends Pippa and James’ Middleton’s wedding
While Meghan didn’t joining her now-fiancé Harry at the ceremony of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews’s wedding, the star reportedly joined him at the reception afterwards.
Apparently, it is against royal protocol for members of the royal family to upstage the ceremony as Pippa’s wedding is not a royal event. She apparently wore a floor length black dress for the occasion.
August 2017: Harry takes actress to ‘second home’ on safari trip to Botswana
As she celebrated her 36th birthday, the royal flew her out to his so-called second home in Botswana to spend time indulging on a houseboat safari. “Sometimes you can go for days without seeing another boat or another tourist. The boat will have a private cabin, or a bed can be made up on the deck if they decided to sleep out under the stars, which he has done before,” a source told the Mirror Online.
Many people speculated this would be the moment Prince William’s little brother would pop the question.
September 2017: Meghan declares LOVE for Harry
Meghan confessed all about her “boyfriend” Harry, and just how crazy the two are about each other.She said: “We’re a couple. We’re in love. This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story,” she told Vanity Fair.
“We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
September 2017: Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance
It was one of the most highly anticipated royal outings since Prince George’s first day at school and Meghan and Harry didn’t disappoint.
Watching a tennis match at the Invictus Games, the Suits star wore an expensive ‘husband’ shirt and ripped jeans as she cuddled up to the royal.
And now the loved-up pair have put on their first public display of affection, as Prince Harry was seen tenderly kissing his girlfriend in the audience of the closing ceremony.
November 2017: Couple announce engagement and tease royal wedding details
After all the speculation and just days after the Archbishop revealed his blessing, the statement confirming the engagement rumours finally came from Kensginton Palace on November 27, 2017.
It read: “The Prince of Wales has announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle.
“Prince Harry and Ms Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. The wedding will take place in spring 2018. Further details will be announced in due course.
After teasing a photocall and TV interview later in the day, the statement continued: “Ms. Markle’s parents, Mr. Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland have wished the couple ‘a lifetime of happiness.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said of the engagement: ‘We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.'”
The Queen has also given her blessing, as a statement from The Royal Family’s Twitter account read: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.”
The Queen was said to have had a meeting with the prince in August to discuss the potential matrimony.
Find out everything about the upcoming royal wedding here.